In a universe, on a planet revolving ‘round stars,
On a continent resembling something like ours,
In any large city or tinyish town,
By a house in a yard or in anywhere found,
There sat a child who thought of a tree.
“And a tree,” thought the child, “is something like me.”
As they sat and they thought and the thoughts went on by,
The child thought to themselves, “like us, the leaves die.
Leaves grow and they shine then they fade and they wither.
First comes the winter then spring they come hither.
New lives and new skin cells that come into be,
And a tree,” they thought, “goes on just like me.”
The child sat and they thought, as they sat on their plot,
“The leaves wither again and they fall and they rot.
The roots drink up the water, it goes up the veins,
And when they get cut, it bleeds and it pains.
It’s not ‘them and I’ though, they thought, but rather, it’s ‘we’.
That beautiful tree,” the child gathered, “is built just like me.”
“Look how it cooperates with all that’s around,
Like people together in cities and towns.
It needs a foundation of food, air and soil,
And when it gets hot, like humans, they boil.
Like kids in a classroom need love to grow free,
The trees in the world,” the child pondered, “they grow just like me.”
“Look at that poor dead one there with the rings.
They look like the wrinkles on fingers and things.
Their branches spread out like the stuff in our breathers,
And kind of like pencils they’re sharpened by beavers.”
They giggled a bit with a snort and a wee.
“These wonderful trees,” they thought, “are special like me.”
We should keep them alive so they can grow with the rest of us.
Dirt dies without them and so will the best of us.
They keep breathing in all the stuff we breathe out.
And nothing on Earth has a tenth of the clout.
They give us our lives just as much as the bees.
The tree that I save,” thought the child, “means saving a ‘me’.”
And as the child sat wonder-filled solving the riddles,
That make the most sense to the purest of littles,
They came to conclusions about all of the trees.
“And the trees,” thought the little, “they matter to me.”
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
Now more than ever, we must focus attention on adequately educating our present populations on just how critical the need is to take personal responsibility for helping our youth develop recipes for right living which includes the natural world and others as extensions of our own, personal selves. This poem is meant to present a relatable way to consider these points and it is my hope that it touches you as much as it touches me every time I read it.
Benjamin J. Sams is a Canadian screen and stage writer, poet, and makes most of his living writing web content for companies that positively impact the human world and the planet. His hope is that through his work he will reach the deeper parts of people, igniting a sense of responsibility to and benevolent guardianship over the planet we live on. Ben's work touches on art, ethics, interdependence with others, ultimate truths, compassion and connectivity to the natural world, and he's just getting started. Keep an eye out for more from Ben in the future.